AToMiC Idea: GOLD
Brand Integration: SILVER
Budweiser Red Light
2013 – to present
How to win when shut out of the category’s key driver: the official sponsorship of Canada’s #1 sport? Budweiser’s association with hockey is a key driver of sales and brand health. As a top 3 brand in a declining category, brand health was critical to driving volume.
Budweiser faced two major challenges:
- Maintaining strong brand health with consumers
- NHL rights belonged exclusively to Budweiser’s #1 competitor
Without the NHL advantage – and elevated reach and premium association – Budweiser would be left on the bench.
Insight & Strategy:
Target: 18-35 year-old male “Experience Maximizers”, who love being active, having fun and discovering new, real-world experiences. Given their wide range of interests, a strategy that didn’t leverage their passion for hockey would under-deliver.
Insight: What’s bigger than our target’s love for the game? Their love for their favourite team.
Opportunity: Elbow our way onto the radar, using the core idea: “Own the Goals, to Own the Game”.
Nothing is more thrilling than the experience seeing your team score. We brought this experience to life through an innovative and deftly-executed program, amplified through a compelling, multi-platform content play.
The Budweiser Red Light (BRL) program would be first to personalize the “goal scoring” experience, keeping our target connected to their team. BRL would employ hockey’s most iconic symbol – the flashing red light – to drive hockey association and create rich, one-on-one content experiences.
BRL literally brought the game to life (online and broadcast video, in-show, social, earned, transactional) with content distributed across multiple platforms – physical and virtual, traditional and mobile. This included selling and distributing an interactive, Wi-Fi-enabled BRL for fans in their homes, synced to buzz and flash whenever their team scored.
To drive reach, we sponsored Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, the country’s #1 broadcast, exploiting a loophole in the NHL lockout.
The agency elevated content partnership to a new level, making Coach’s Corner a destination for fresh content weekly. Hosts Ron McLean and Don Cherry integrated BRL seamlessly into conversation on-air/online, during-game and on-set, even wearing the BRL jacket during playoffs! For the first time ever, a scorebug – a reappearing, in-show, animated ad unit –appeared during broadcast alerting fans of goals.
A hat-trick of success!
The Budweiser Red Light program overcame barriers, established an entirely new way to connect and unsettled our competitor’s stranglehold!
- Drove massive awareness/buzz. Generated 54MM earned media impressions and created a media frenzy: >6,000 mentions from news/sports sites, blogs, and professional hockey players, with brand social and website activity up significantly
- Boosted brand association/equity scores. “Association with hockey” and key equity measures dramatically increased exceeding targets – a big deal given these scores’ tight correlation to sales.
- Created tens of thousands of rich, enduring, one-on-one branded experiences. BRL sold out within hours of its debut, crashing the site and demonstrating huge positive reaction. 33,000+ units have sold, generating $5MM+ incremental revenue. Given that hockey is a group viewing experience, an estimated whopping 10-15% of target had first-person, high-quality brand interactions via the program!
Creative Agency: Anomaly
Sr. Marketing Director (Budweiser – Labatt Breweries): Kyle Norrington
Media, Digital, Sports & Entertainment (Labatt Breweries): Jonathan Ritter
Sports and Entertainment Manager – (Labatt Breweries): Alexis Smith
VP, Client Business Partner (UM Canada): Scott Stewart
Manager, Connections (UM Canada): Rick Kusch
Director, Digital (UM Canada): Steven Alegrias
Manager, Investments (UM Canada): Dan Zangrando